In 2017, Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler was an undrafted free agent out of Western State, Colorado. Even though he was picked up by the Chargers after going undrafted. He was a backup behind Melvin Gordon and didn’t see a lot of action.
Last season, Gordon was involved in a contract holdout. Also, missed a few games. This led the team to turn to Ekeler as their feature back. The decision paid off for the Chargers with Ekeler having a career high with 557 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also had 993 receiving yards and eight touchdowns as he became a dangerous receiving threat out of the backfield.
After his breakout year, Ekeler was expected to garner a lot of interest when he hit free agency. However, the Chargers managed to prevent that by giving him a four-year $24.5 million contract.
During a recent interview, Ekeler said he was excited about the new contract. However, doesn’t think it will change him.
Austin Ekeler New Los Angeles Chargers Deal
“One of the things that’s crazy about the NFL is when I got to camp. I’m sitting in a room with guys who make $10 million a year. I see what everyone’s making, and I said, ‘Dang! That’s a lot of money!'” Ekeler said. “That’s why I’m laughing when Cameron tells me about the deal. It just didn’t seem real that I’d be making that money.
“You know how people say, ‘More money, more problems.’ I think money exemplifies your true character. It’s going to bring out the person I truly am. I live in the moment. The best chance you have to succeed is living in the moment — nothing matters except what you do to be better now. That’s who I am. That’s who I’ll continue to be.”
With Gordon expected to leave the team in free agency, Ekeler will be the team’s feature back going into next season. What does this mean for the Chargers?